Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peach Truffle Cake

Celebrating a friend's Birthday.. with a yummy treat that's appealing not only to those taste buds but also for the eye. An egg-less cake that is just as moist and fluffy. My recipe is simple and quick to put together. Try it out ! Here goes -


Fresh Peaches - 2 OR Canned Peach - 2 cups
Chocolate Frosting - 1/2 cup
Flour - 1 and 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Vanilla Flavoring - 1 tsp
Chocolate Truffles - 1/2 cup
Vinegar - 1 tbsp
Curd - 3 to 4 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp


SERVING: Serves 8 to 10


1. Mix the Flour,Chocolate Truffles, Baking Powder, Sugar and Salt together.
2. Add Oil to the mixture, fold it in.
3. Add Vinegar and Curd to the mixture, fold it in.
4. Add Vanilla Flavoring, fold it in.
5. Add half the Peaches and Water, mix it in and prepare the mixture to an even consistency.
6. Pour the mixture onto a baking pan.
7. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Once the cake is done, set it aside to cool. Spread some chocolate frosting and top with sliced peaches.
Serve with fresh fruit salad.. Enjoy !!

Chocolate Frosting
Chocolate frosting is easily available in any grocery store. However, if you prefer something homemade, try this easy RECIPE to make some for yourself.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dhaasu Rajma Chawal ! (Spicy Kidney Beans Curry with Rice)


Rajma (Kidney Beans) - 1 1/2 cups, soaked
Onion - 1 large, fine chopped
Red Bell-pepper - 1 medium, fine chopped
Tomato - 2 medium, fine chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch cube, minced
Green Chilli - 2 small, chopped
Fresh Coriander - small bunch, chopped
Tej Patta (Bay Leaf) - 1 medium
Bhuna Jeera - 1 1/2 tsp
Shah Jeera - 1 tsp
Badi /Kali Elaichi (Black Cardamom) - 1
Cloves - 2 or 3
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


SERVING: Serves 4


1. Pressure cook the Rajma that was soaked over night and keep aside. Or in the alternative, add the soaked Rajma to the masala already made and pressure cook together.
2. Pour half the oil in a pan, heat it. Add Onion and fry. Keep aside when done.
3. Pour the rest of the oil, keep on high.

4. Add the bell peppers, fry till bellpeppers are lightly browned.
5. Reduce heat to a little less than medium. Add the bay leaf, Badi /Kali Elaichi, Cloves and Shah Jeera. Fry for half a minute. Add the Green Chillies and Ginger, fry for half a minute.
6. Add the tomatoes, fry till oil separates.
7. Mix in the cooked Rajma. Add Coriander Powder, Bhuna Jeera and salt to taste.
8. Cook till the flavors mingle.
9. Add Garam Masala, mix in. Add fresh coriander and remove from fire.

Serve with hot Roti or Naan. Or pour a generous amount over a bowl of rice.
Enjoy !!

TASTY TIP: The Badi/ Kali Elaichi (Black Cardamom) is added for flavor. It can get over powering sometimes, specially if it opens and the seeds disperse. I remove it from the curry before adding the Garam Masala, to ensure there is not too much of a god thing.. sometimes less is more!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Aalu Bhurji (Potatoes Scrambled?) Dont go by the name, just TRY it !

Hey Friends ! I'm back again after a nice long vacation. I learnt a few new tricks this season and will share them along the way... for now lets talk about this dish -

This was a pure accident. Being jet-lagged is a horrible thing.. as I woke up one morning... pretty early... I thought of preparing breakfast instead of getting bored through my head. I began my preps for a real spicy 'Anda Bhurji' which is the Indian version of the scrambled egg.. made with onions and tomatoes and lots of spices!  Now when I reached for the eggs, I realized there weren't any. In all my huff and puff I decided to improvise and  use potatoes instead.. so here goes.. Hope you'll like it !!


Onion - 1 medium, fine chopped
Red Bell-pepper - 1/2 medium, fine chopped
Tomato - 1 medium, fine chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch cube, minced
Green Chilli - 1 small, chopped
Potato - 2 medium, fine chopped
Fresh Coriander - small bunch, chopped
Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste


SERVING: Serves 2


1. Pour oil in a pan, heat it. Keep on high heat.
2. Add onions and fry for 1 min.
3. Add the bell peppers, fry till Onion and the Peppers are lightly browned.
4. Reduce heat to a little less than medium. Add the tomatoes, fry till oil separates.
5. Add the potatoes, mix in. Cook till the potatoes are done.
6. Add all the masalas, mix in. Cook till the flavors mingle.

7. Garnish with fresh coriander.
8. Serve with hot toast and chutneys. (Ketchup would work just as well)

Enjoy !!

TIP: Don't cover the potatoes to cook or they will become sticky.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Veggie Hakka Noodles / Vegetable Chowmien

Hello Foodies..
What's cooking?!! It has been straight cut regular Indian meals for us for a while.. needed a change. Veg noodles are my favorite and they are made differently in different parts of the world... I remember how much we enjoyed the simplicity of the noodles we had in China.. decided to go for it today! It turned out great !Try it for yourself and let me know what you think !!

Veggie Hakka Noodles


Egg Noodles / Angel Hair Pasta - 1 pack
Onion - 1 medium, sliced
Red Bell-pepper - 1 medium, sliced
Green Bell-pepper - 1 small, sliced
Cabbage - 1/2 medium, sliced
Ginger - 1 inch cube, minced
Garlic - 2 to3, minced
Hot Chili Paste - 1 to 2 tsp
Soy Sauce - 3 tbsp
White Vinegar - 1 to 2 tsp (to taste)
Black Pepper - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tsp (optional)
Salt to taste

COOKING TIME: 25 - 30 mins

SERVING: Serves 4


1. Fill water in a deep pot, add salt and 1/2 tsp oil, keep on high flame to boil.
2. When the water begins to boil, add the egg noodles / pasta to cook for 5 - 7 minutes.
3. Heat a wok, add oil and keep on high flame.
4. Add sliced onion, stir fry for a minute.
5. Add ginger and garlic, mix in.
6. Add the vegetables, stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
7. Drain the noodles / pasta into a colander. Transfer it into a pot of cold water.
8. Once the vegetables are done, reduce flame to medium or less. Drain the noodles / pasta well and add to the vegetables.
9. Mix the noodles / pasta well with the veggies and cook for five minutes.
10. Add hot chili paste, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, sugar and black pepper. Take off of flame and mix well.

To Serve -
11. This noodle could be added to a stew or soup.
12. As seen in the pictures here, I added some chili oil and soy sauce and garnished with fresh coriander. Enjoy !

I have not been able to devote time to taking pictures and writing the recipes in the past month or so... Hope to pick up some of it this month. Super excited about my new Nikon D90. It has taken a lot of work and research to finally get my first DSLR.. and now that I have it, I'm enjoying the learning curve again. Hope you too like the new pictures!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tangy Pear Cooler

Its been fun experimenting with fruits ! Here is one more to add to the list !
I was craving for an iced cooler and did not want to add sugar based syrups, so I used fruits and juice instead.

DO try it out !


Ripe Pear - 1 to 2, cut in cubes
Orange - 1, peeled and seeded
Grapefruit - 1/2 to 1, peeled and seeded
Ripe Banana - 1/2, sliced
Guava Juice - 1/2 cup
Ice - 1 cup crushed or shaved

COOKING TIME: 10 minutes

SERVING: Serves 2



1. Cut all the fruits.
2. Put all the fruits into a blender and blend in.
3. Add some Guava Juice, blend again.

To Serve -
4. Add half of the shaved or crushed ice into beverage glasses.
5. Pour in the fruit mix half way.
6. Add the rest of the ice shavings.
7. Pour in the rest of the fruit mix to fill the glass.
8. Pour in the remaining Guava Juice, see it sink into the ice to create a band of color.
9.Top up with Pear slices !

This recipe is part of Divya's "Show me your Smoothie" Event.

Tangy Pear Cooler is now linked with Foodista. Readers looking for Packham Triumph Pear would also be able to view recipes of the same with just a click. Enjoy !

Packham Triumph Pear on FoodistaPackham Triumph Pear

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pineapple Lychee Smoothie

Its getting warmer by the day.. and evenings are pleasant with cool breezes.. We're really enjoying summer now ! What better time to enjoy pure tropical bliss..!

Pineapple is my favorite tropical fruit. I love how juicy they are.. and the balance of sweet and tangy bold flavor of the fruit totally blows me away. Although pineapples are available all year round, the best time to savor the ripe ones is between March and July.

Here is my little experiment with Pineapple and Lychee as the main ingredients. I added some Banana to add more sweet and to get a thicker consistency. I am thrilled that the combination works and yea, hubby liked it a lot ! Its a success !! Please try it out and send me some feedback !!!!


Fresh Pineapple - 1, chopped into cubes, 2 cubes shaved & 1 slice for the topping
Ripe Banana - 1/2
Fresh Lychee - 6 to 8, peeled and seeded OR
Lychee Juice - 1/2 cup
Buttermilk - 3 to 4 tbsp
Cheery - for topping

COOKING TIME: 10 minutes

SERVING: Serves 2


1. Cut all the fruits. Pineapple in cubes, Banana into coins, Lychee into halves.
2. Put all the fruits into a blender and blend in.
3. Add the buttermilk, blend again.
4. Pour out the smoothie into beverage glasses.

To Serve -
5. Top it up with shaved Pineapple, Pineapple slice and Lychee with Cherry on top!

This smoothie is full of pulp and unique flavors. Enjoy it chilled, add crushed ice for extra chill power.
Enjoy !

This recipe is part of  Spicy Tastyz "Sizzling Summer Contest"

This recipe is part of Divya's "Show me your Smoothie" Event.

Check out the Show Me Your Smoothie Round-Up HERE !!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Peachy Mango Smoothie

California Peaches are available from April through October. Summer is the best time to use the ripe n sweet peaches in a smoothie.. and this year I am loving the Mangoes. We still have not found Indian Mangoes in the store, however, the Mexican ones are just as yummm !

This smoothie was a real experiment. I was not sure if all the flavors would work together.. but they turned out just fine and I am thrilled about that! I have used some fresh apple too in this one, and that kinda changes the consistency of the drink to more viscous. I used ice-cream spoons to scoop it instead. To keep it drinkable, you may want to use apple juice.


Fresh Peaches - 1 to 2, cut in half and seeded, 1/4 chopped finely
Fresh Mango - 1, cut into cubes OR
Tinned Mango Pulp - 1.5 cup
Fresh Apple - 1/2 cut into cubes OR
Apple Juice - 1/2 cup
Plain Yogurt - 2 tbsp
Water as needed

COOKING TIME: 10 minutes

SERVING: Serves 2


1. Cut all the fruits. Peaches in halves, Mango in cubes, Apple in cubes.
2. Put all the fruits into a blender and blend in.
3. Add the yogurt and 1/4 cup water (if needed to adjust consistency), blend again.
4. Pour out the smoothie into beverage glasses.
5. Add crushed ice.

To Serve -
6. Top it up with cut peaches.
I used Mango as the topping here just because its in season now.

Alternatively, you can blend in the crushed ice into the smoothie. If you are using fruit juices instead of fresh fruits, there will be no need to add water. Feel free to add more yogurt for a thicker smoothie.

Enjoy !!

This recipe is part of Divya's "Show me your Smoothie" Event.

Mangoes are my favorites.. its amazing how many times I have had to update this post with all the requests from readers. I probably cant thank everyone enough ! Thank you all for trying out the smoothies and for leaving feedback. July is almost here and we can still find some real nice mangoes in the market.. these are the mexican variety, nevertheless, they are really great.. I've had a whole month of Mango Bliss !! YUMM !! YUMM !!!
The Peachy Mango Smoothie is now linked with Foodista. Readers looking for MANGOES will now be able to view recipes of the same with just a click. Enjoy !

Mango on FoodistaMango

Monday, May 24, 2010

Strawberry Mint Smoothie

Hubby and I enjoy eating healthy. However, I've been feeling that we dont eat a lot of fruits.. and it almost gets impossible to get the daily recommended doze. I like juices, but I often wonder if drinking packaged juices is any good?
Gradually we have been introducing changes into our eating habits to ensure we consume more fruits.. at least a few varieties everyday. My smoothie series is all about getting more fruits into our routine. The Smoothie thought is inspired by a very close friend who loves to cook and is always ready to whip up new recipes every time we meet up!! Thanks Suraj for your inspiring ways....


Fresh Strawberries - 5 to 6, cut in half and 1 to 2 chopped or sliced
Ripe Banana - 1/2
Ripe Guava - 1 small OR
Guava Juice - 1/3 cup
Fresh Mint Leaves - 4 to 5
Plain Yogurt - 2 to 3 tbsp

COOKING TIME: 10 minutes

SERVING: Serves 2


1. Cut all the fruits. Strawberries in halves, Banana into coins, Guava into 4 to 6 pieces.
2. Put all the fruits into a blender and blend in.
3. Add the yogurt and 2 to 3 Fresh Mint leaves, blend again.
4. Add the chopped strawberries to the bottom of your beverage glass.
5. Pour out the smoothie into beverage glasses.

To Serve -
5. Top it up with sliced Strawberries and Mint leaves.

Enjoy !!

This recipe is part of:
Divya's "Show me Your Smothie" Event !
"RC - 23 Smoothies & Milk Shakes" - An IHM Event !

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mathra (Dried Peas Recipe) Chaat !

Mathra is a very popular North Indian "Chaat". It is made of Dried Yellow Peas. [Matar means Peas in Hindi, Mathra is made of peas.] It is a coveted item on the Menu list in Weddings and Celebrations across North India. I love it spicy and tangy, just the way it is sold by the local chaat-wala (usually street hawkers) in the bazaar!

It is eaten with a number of accompaniments or sometimes its good all by itself. This could very well be a distant cousin of Ghugni, which is a Bengali favorite (a preparation from the Eastern part of India). This is a simple recipe which is very easy to prepare, takes very little time and is always appreciated.


Yellow Peas - 2 cups, soaked overnight
Cloves - 3 to 4
Black Pepper - 3 to 4
Haldi (Turmeric) - 1/2 tsp
Bhoona Jeera Powder(Roasted Cumin) - 3 tsp
Chaat Masala - 4 tsp OR according to taste
Lemon Juice - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1 medium, chopped finely
Tomato - 1 medium, chopped finely
Green Chilli - 1 medium,chopped finely
Ginger - 1/2 inch cube, chopped finely
Fresh Coriander Leaves - a small bunch, chopped
Water - 1 cup
Salt to Taste

COOKING TIME: 20 minutes

SERVING: Serves 6


1. Soak the dried peas overnight.
2. Place the soaked peas in a Pressure Cooker, add clove, turmeric and black pepper. Pressure cook the peas till they are soft.
3. Once done, remove lid and add Bhoona Jeera Powder and Chaat Masala to taste.
4. Add the lemon juice.
5. Add salt, if needed.

To Serve -
6. Add chopped Onion, Tomato, Green Chilli, Ginger and Fresh Coriander leaves as Garnish.
7. Serve with bread or puffed rice or Bhel !

For the Jain version, avoid onion and ginger.
The Garnish items can be used all together or even singularly, as preferred.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pineapple Tart

Hey Everyone !

I'm back !! My vacation almost turned into a sabbatical.. it was fun traveling and learning new things. I found some resting time as well... and now I am back to my experiments in the kitchen.

Beginning the New Year with something sweet.. :-)


This recipe is a mix of my Mom's biscotto and my cheese cake recipes. It is a low fat version for all calorie counters. I was inspired to create something different for our Jain friends who dont eat any animal products / derivatives. Pineapple was just the thing.. nailed it !
Here goes...

Miniature Muffin Tray - 1

Tart Base:
All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Sugar (powdered) - 4 tbsp
Sugar Substitute (Glenda/Equate etc.)- 4 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 to 3 tbsp
Vanilla Flavoring - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch

Pineapple Filling:
Fresh Pineapple(chopped into cubes) - 1 cup
Cream Cheese Lite - 4 Oz.
Whipping Cream Lite - 4 Oz.
Sugar (powdered) - 2 tbsp
Sugar Substitute (Glenda/Equate etc.)- 2 tsp
Pineapple Flavoring - 1 tsp

COOKING TIME: 40 minutes

SERVING: Serves 10 to 12


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. For the Tart Base: Mix in the All Purpose Flour, Sugar OR Sugar Substitute and Olive Oil.
3. Add Vanilla Flavoring and Salt. Mix in well to make into dough.
4. Apply slight Olive oil or Spray the Miniature Muffin Tray with a thin coat of Oil.
5. Use the dough to make base for each cup of the Miniature Muffin Tray.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes, until slightly browned.
7. When done, remove the tray from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When cool, remove the Tart Base from the tray. You can now put in a second batch for baking, if needed.
8. For the Filling: Mix cubed Pineapple, Cream Cheese, Whipping Cream, Sugar OR Sugar Substitute, Pineapple Flavoring and blend. (I use my hand mixer)
9. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. (Sometimes I freeze it overnight, beware coz Pineapple turns bitter too.)
10. To serve, fill up the Tart Base with the filling.
11. Top the Pineapple Tarts with fresh cut fruits - Peach, Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Grapes or even Pineapple.. whichever you like.

Enjoy !!

Don't forget to write me your feedback !

In Step 5, to make even sized cups, I used a smaller cup to press in the dough. Makes the task so much easier and faster.